May 27, 2012

18+ & a Graduate!

Disclaimer- The following is a work of fiction (not to be taken seriously), highlighting the series of situations that usually turn up in a girl’s life who is 18+ and also a graduate, with a dash of sarcasm and humor! Enjoy :) 

As I’m currently being a victim of being in the “marriageable age” category, especially more prominently in the eyes of my Grandparents and their peers :-P, the very fact that time really flies and everyone looks at you as a full- fledged grown up, dawns on you all of a sudden. It hasn’t been long since you’ve finished schooling and graduation and there you go, people are ready to push you (no offence intended) into the next mega- phase of your life- marriage!

You get into so many awkward situations which from no- where turn outta be potential impromptu places for discussing holy matrimony! :-P The critical stage is when you are in your pre- final year of your graduation. Well, I have lost count of how many times elderly people have asked me (rolling their eyes, adjusting their bifocal spectacles, bending towards me and in a wishful tone, whilst giving you ‘the look’), “So, what are you doing these days?”, I reply (while addressing them in a respectful manner, trying to hide my coy smile), “I’m in my pre- final year, engineering”. You should see the look on their face, priceless :-P they say, “Very good, very good! So what plans next?” Many a time, my reply would be “M.Tech, then PhD!” :-P Yeah, done some trolling there! But hey!!!! I then had 2 years to go and that was a lotta time to decide what I wanted to do next!

Your maternal Grandma’s current goal in life becomes “your-ASAP-marriage” [of course, arranged] :-P It’s like she’s been waiting for this day since I was born! :-P She was eagerly waiting for me to complete my graduation. Even though I had to do it, I guess the day I told her about my last day in college was the day she had a big sigh of relief, though I should have had one having undergone the pleasure of studying for four years. :-P

Your paternal Grandma often tells you stories of how young she was when she got married, how she managed a household at that age and exclaims saying that at my age she had 4 kids. :-O :-O  in such a convincing tone that made me think to myself, “OMG! I’m not married yet!” :-P :-P

Your maternal Grandpa starts seeing The Hindu Classifieds (Matrimonial News) and starts asking you what kind of guy you wanna marry!! I better not write my reply here! :-P

Your paternal Grandpa (who happens to be a passionate and accurate astrologer by hobby, though an engineer by profession) starts looking up your horoscope, analyzing the positions and effects of the planets and stars with respect to my birth star, doing all those complex calculations and often saying how the astrologers outside predict wrong stuff and loot money in the name of astrology. ;-) 

Your family priest keeps whispering stuff into your father’s ears saying he’s knows a good match and yet again gives me the look! :-P :-O

When you come to your final year, the hustle bustle increases. I was happy to be in the final year, there was nothing but studies in my mind. But little did I know that they were even happier about it. :-P :-P

Things go even worse when you attend an elder cousin’s wedding. You get those “you-are-next-in-line-look-with-the-buhaha-evil-smile” from practically everyone, except your friend/ cousin who might be sailing in the same boat as you are! ;-) *you are soon to drown, and there are no life- jackets* :-P

Your younger cousin does some eaves- dropping and comes and tells you that the elder lot is discussing your marriage and pokes his elbow at you saying that he’s next after you. :-O Hahaha! He’s more happy about the fact that I’m next, and not worried about the fact that his turn was eventually gonna come! :-P

Why o why! The day the Government legalized marriages at 18+ (for girls) was the day they got a legal license to remind us at every able occasion that you have to get married, there is no escape! 

Well, I never denied it either! ;-) 

Yes, I’m 18+ and a graduate! The people around me love that more than I do now! :-P

May 27, 2012

May 22, 2012

The Brain Game!

Why do I think so much?
Why do I observe so much?
And then, I try and create analogies based on what I see, feel and observe!
Gosh! I guess this is something I can't do anything about! 

This is something I have observed in people and thought about, A LOT, the last four years, during my grad course. Here are my conclusions!

"People who rock at math, suck at drawing!"
Which gets me thinking, when they can do math, the complex stuff, why can't they do something that is so simple- drawing?? Drawing a straight line, a curve or a circle is so difficult?? Why???
You don't have to remember a formula to draw a circle! I mean, just take a pencil and draw the damn circle! :-P Why is it so difficult? Maybe, it is so difficult because it doesn't involve a formula! :-P Math freaks deal with complication with ease? Hmmm....I can't say that! ;)

"People who love math, hate biology!!!!!"
Yes, hate is the word! They hate memorizing the long words in biology, and drawings- they would gladly run away from those!!! I wonder why, when they can remember crappy formulae in math with so much ease, which looks impossible to remember! Why is it that biology is something they just can't do? Is it a mental block?  Or is it that they just can’t do it?

"People who ace theoretical subjects, suck at mathematical ones!!" 
Trust me, this one is a biggie! 90% of the people are in this category! If you are not, you are lucky! Why is that so?? You remember paras and paras of something so boring and reproduce the same thing in an exam but you can’t solve a simple set of equations which is logical?? I have friends who love maths, but when it comes to a theoretical subject you should see the look on their face! BUSTED! It's no less than a nightmare!

"People who manage to do fairly well in both, at the same time having a upper- hand in being either creative or mathematical!"
These are the people who I feel are gifted, because they can lay their hands comfortably both here and there. They might not be the best at it but they manage to pull it off well! 

·         Acing at a particular thing and (not- wantingly) giving your worst at another?
·         Doing fairly well in both?

All this made me want to know the reason why people are like this? Why can't people be great at both? I'm sure there are, but why is it a rarity? Is this to do with their genetic make- up? Or is it some kind of inability? The same logic can be applied to the way these different set of people react to different situations! Or even when they try to figure out a solution to a problem? Is it an intuitive thinking or a methodological way to tackling the problem? 

People often use their strengths everywhere they can! A creative person comes up with a colourful, exciting and a fun plan! A mathematical person may come up with something that has a lot of logic and something that has a higher probability of being successful which is absolute fun for him/ her. A creative one might say, it’s not about being successful, it’s about enjoying the journey or the way things are done! Some agree with both. Some apply both creativity and logic in their plans, and I happen to be one of them and maybe hence, I am thinking about all this in the first place! :)

 Scientists have explored theories about the two hemispheres of the brain and the ways that they differ in function and control of the body. According to the research, people who are right brain dominant and those who are left brain dominant process information and respond in different ways. And that is the reason for all this!

Have you ever been accused of being too analytical or do people say you're dreamy? Typically, dominant left brain students will be more organized, analyze information and process it sequentially, often cautious, follow rules and schedules, are strong in math and science, and can answer questions quickly.

On the other hand, right-brain students are the dreamers. They can be very intelligent and very deep thinkers—so much so that they can get lost in their own little worlds. They make great students of the social sciences and the arts, are more spontaneous than the cautious left-brainers, and they are likely to follow their own gut feelings. They are very intuitive and have great skill when it comes to seeing through lies or tricks.

What about people who are right in the middle? Students who are middle brain oriented can have strong qualities from either hemisphere. Those students can benefit from logic from the left and intuition from the right. That sounds like a great recipe for success, doesn't it? ;)

So which category do you fall in? Left, Right or Middle? :-D

May 22, 2012

May 5, 2012

Diving into the Divine...

Composed by Adi Shankaracharya, Bhaja Govindam, is a popular devotional song in Hinduism. The 31 stanza composition in Sanskrit is not just a devotional song. Each word in Bhaja Govindam is imbibed with meaning and the composition reflects the teachings of Santana Dharma. The verses of this hymn have divinely been sung by MS Subbulakshmi.

My having learnt Carnatic classical music during childhood always attracted me towards bhajans, especially the ones sung by MS Subbulakshmi- The Nightingale of Carnatic Music. Bhaja Govindam being one of my favorite, is close to my heart. And the meaning, so delightful and beautiful. All I can say is that this is sheer bliss. The amazing part is that I see a new dimension to this song everytime I listen to it and it gets deeper and deeper!

Play the video and follow the lyrics and the meaning given below!

भज गोविन्दं भज गोविन्दं,
गोविन्दं भज मूढ़मते।
संप्राप्ते सन्निहिते काले,
न हि न हि रक्षति डुकृञ् करणे ॥१॥

Seek Govinda, Seek Govinda,
Seek Govinda, O Fool!
When the appointed times comes (death),
grammar rules surely will not save you.

मूढ़ जहीहि धनागमतृष्णाम्,
कुरु सद्बुद्धिमं मनसि वितृष्णाम्।
यल्लभसे निजकर्मोपात्तम्,
वित्तं तेन विनोदय चित्तं ॥२॥

O Fool! Give up the thirst to possess wealth.
Create in your mind, devoid of passions,
thoughts of the Reality.
With whatever you get, entertain your mind, be content.

दृष्ट्वा मागा मोहावेशम्।
मनसि विचिन्तय वारं वारम् ॥३॥

Seeing the full bosom of young maidens and their navel,
do not fall a prey to maddening delusion.
This is but a modification of flesh and fat.
Think well thus in your mind again and again.

विद्धि व्याध्यभिमानग्रस्तं,
लोक शोकहतं च समस्तम् ॥४॥

The water drop playing on a lotus petal has an extremely uncertain existence;
so also is life ever unstable.
Understand, the very world is consumed by disease and conceit,
and is riddled with pangs.

तावन्निजपरिवारो रक्तः।
पश्चाज्जीवति जर्जरदेहे, 

वार्तां कोऽपि न पृच्छति गेहे ॥५॥

As long as there is the ability to earn and save,
so long are all your dependants attached to you.
Later on, when you come tolive with an old, infirm body,
no one at home cares to speak even a word with you!!

यावत्पवनो निवसति देहे,
तावत् पृच्छति कुशलं गेहे।
गतवति वायौ देहापाये, 

भार्या बिभ्यति तस्मिन्काये ॥६॥

As long as there dwells breath in the body,
so long they enquire of your welfare at home.
Once the breath leaves, the body decays,
even the wife fears that very same body.

बालस्तावत् क्रीडासक्तः,
तरुणस्तावत् तरुणीसक्तः।

परे ब्रह्मणि कोऽपि न सक्तः ॥७॥

So long as one is in one’s boyhood, one is attached to play,
so long as one is in youth, one is attached to one’s own young woman;
so long as one is in old age, one is attached to anxiety,
yet no one, alas to the Supreme Brahman, is ever seen attached.

का ते कांता कस्ते पुत्रः, 
संसारोऽयमतीव विचित्रः।
कस्य त्वं वा कुत अयातः, 

तत्त्वं चिन्तय तदिह भ्रातः ॥८॥

Who is your wife? Who is your son?
Supremely wonderful indeed is this samsara.
Of whom are you? From where have you come?
O brother, think of that Truth here.

सत्संगत्वे निस्संगत्वं, 
निस्संगत्वे निर्मोहत्वं।
निर्मोहत्वे निश्चलतत्त्वं 

निश्चलतत्त्वे जीवन्मुक्तिः ॥९॥

Through the company of the good, there arises non-attachment;
through non-attachment there arises freedom from delusion;
when there is freedom from delusion, there is the Immutable Reality;
on experiencing the Immutable Reality, there comes the state of ‘liberated-in-life’.

यसि गते कः कामविकारः,
शुष्के नीरे कः कासारः।
क्षीणे वित्ते कः परिवारः, 

ज्ञाते तत्त्वे कः संसारः ॥१०॥

When youthfulness has passed, where is lust and its play?
When water is evaporated, where is the lake?
When the wealth is reduced, where is the retinue?
When the Truth is realised, where is samsara?

मा कुरु धनजनयौवनगर्वं,
हरति निमेषात्कालः सर्वं।
मायामयमिदमखिलम् हित्वा,
ब्रह्मपदम् त्वं प्रविश विदित्वा ॥११॥

Take no pride in your possession, in the people at your command, in the youthfulness that you have.
Time loots away all these in a moment.
Leaving aside all these, after knowing their illusory nature,
realize the state of Brahman and enter into it.

दिनयामिन्यौ सायं प्रातः,
शिशिरवसन्तौ पुनरायातः।
कालः क्रीडति गच्छत्यायुस्तदपि 

न मुन्च्त्याशावायुः ॥१२॥
कथितो वैयाकरणस्यैषः।
श्रीमच्छंकरभगवच्चरणैः ॥१२अ॥

Day and night, dawn and dusk, winter and spring,
again and again come and depart.
Time sports and life ebbs away.
And yet, one leaves not the gusts of desires.

काते कान्ता धन गतचिन्ता,
वातुल किं तव नास्ति नियन्ता।
त्रिजगति सज्जनसं गतिरैका,
भवति भवार्णवतरणे नौका ॥१३॥

O Distracted One! Why worry about wife, wealth?
Is there not for you the One who ordains?
In the three worlds it is the association-with-good-people alone
that can serve as a boat to cross the sea of change, birth and death.

जटिलो मुण्डी लुञ्छितकेशः, 
पश्यन्नपि च न पश्यति मूढः, 

उदरनिमित्तं बहुकृतवेषः ॥१४॥

One ascetic with matted locks, one with shaven head,
one with hairs pulled out one by one, another parading in his ochre robes
– these are fools who, though seeing, do not see.
Indeed, these different disguises or apparels are only for their belly’s sake.

अङ्गं गलितं पलितं मुण्डं,
दशनविहीनं जतं तुण्डम्।
वृद्धो याति गृहीत्वा दण्डं,
तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशापिण्डम् ॥१५॥

The body has become worn out. The head has turned grey.
The mouth has become toothless.
The old man moves about leaning on his staff.
Even then he leaves not the bundle of his desires.

अग्रे वह्निः पृष्ठेभानुः,
रात्रौ चुबुकसमर्पितजानुः।

तदपि न मुञ्चत्याशापाशः ॥१६॥

In front the fire, at the back the sun, late at night he sits with hisknees held to his chin;
he receives alms in his own scooped palm and
lives under the shelter of some tree,
and yet the noose of desires spares him not!

कुरुते गङ्गासागरगमनं,
व्रतपरिपालनमथवा दानम्।
ज्ञानविहिनः सर्वमतेन, 

मुक्तिं न भजति जन्मशतेन ॥१७॥

One may, in pilgrimage, go to where the Ganges meets the ocean, called the Gangasagar,
or observe vows, or distribute gifts away in charity.
If he is devoid of first-hand-experience-of-the-Truth,
according to all schools of thought, he gains no release, even in a hundred lives

सुर मंदिर तरु मूल निवासः,
शय्या भूतल मजिनं वासः।
सर्व परिग्रह भोग त्यागः, 

कस्य सुखं न करोति विरागः ॥१८॥

Sheltering in temples, under some trees,
sleeping on the naked ground, wearing a deerskin,
and thus renouncing all idea-of-possession and thirst-to-enjoy,
to whom will not dispassion bring happiness?

योगरतो वाभोगरतोवा,
सङ्गरतो वा सङ्गवीहिनः।
यस्य ब्रह्मणि रमते चित्तं, 

नन्दति नन्दति नन्दत्येव ॥१९॥

Let one revel in Yoga or let him revel in Bhoga.
Let one seek enjoyment in company or
let him revel in solitude away from the crowd.
He whose mind revels in Brahman,
he enjoys, verily, he alone enjoys.

भगवद् गीता किञ्चिदधीता,
गङ्गा जललव कणिकापीता।
सकृदपि येन मुरारि समर्चा, 

क्रियते तस्य यमेन न चर्चा ॥२०॥

To one who has studied the Bhagavad Gita even a little,
who has sipped at least a drop of Ganges-water,
who has worshipped at least one Lord Muraari,
to him there is no quarrel with Yama, the Lord of Death.

पुनरपि जननं पुनरपि मरणं, 
पुनरपि जननी जठरे शयनम्।
इह संसारे बहुदुस्तारे, 

कृपयाऽपारे पाहि मुरारे ॥२१॥

Again birth, again death, and again lying in mother’s womb –
this samsara process is very hard to cross over.
Save me O destroyer of Mura (Lord Krishna),
through Thy infinite kindness.

रथ्या चर्पट विरचित कन्थः,
पुण्यापुण्य विवर्जित पन्थः।
योगी योगनियोजित चित्तो, 

रमते बालोन्मत्तवदेव ॥२२॥

The Yogin who wears but a godadi (shawl made of rags),
who walks the path that is beyond merit and demerit,
whose mind is joined in perfect Yoga with its goal,
he revels (in God-consciousness) – and lives thereafter – as a child or as a madman.

कस्त्वं कोऽहं कुत आयातः,
का मे जननी को मे तातः।
इति परिभावय सर्वमसारम्, 

विश्वं त्यक्त्वा स्वप्न विचारम् ॥२३॥

Who are you? Who am I? From where did I come?
Who is my mother? Who is my father?
Thus enquire, leaving aside the entire world-of-experience,
essenceless and a mere dreamland, born of imagination.

त्वयि मयि चान्यत्रैको विष्णुः,
व्यर्थं कुप्यसि मय्यसहिष्णुः।
भव समचित्तः सर्वत्र त्वं, 

वाञ्छस्यचिराद्यदि विष्णुत्वम् ॥२४॥

In you, in me and in all other places too there is but one All-Pervading Reality.
Being impatient, you are unnecessarily getting angry with me.
If you want to attain soon the Vishnu-status,
be equal-minded in all circumstances.

शत्रौ मित्रे पुत्रे बन्धौ,
मा कुरु यत्नं विग्रहसन्धौ।
सर्वस्मिन्नपि पश्यात्मानं, 

सर्वत्रोत्सृज भेदाज्ञानम् ॥२५॥

Strive not, waste not your energy to fight against or to make
friends with your enemy, friend, son or relative.
Seeking the Self everywhere,
lift the sense-of-difference born out of ‘ignorance’.

कामं क्रोधं लोभं मोहं,
त्यक्त्वाऽत्मानं भावय कोऽहम्।
आत्मज्ञान विहीना मूढाः, 

ते पच्यन्ते नरकनिगूढाः ॥२६॥

Leaving desire, anger, greed and delusion,
the seeker sees in the Self ‘He Am I’.
They are fools those who have not Self-knowledge,
and they consequently, as a captive in hell, are tortured.

गेयं गीता नाम सहस्रं,
ध्येयं श्रीपति रूपमजस्रम्।
नेयं सज्जन सङ्गे चित्तं, 

देयं दीनजनाय च वित्तम् ॥२७॥

The Bhagavad Gita and Sahasranama are to be chanted;
always the form of the Lord of Lakshmi is to be meditated upon;
the mind is to be led towards the company of the good;
wealth is to be shared with the needy.

सुखतः क्रियते रामाभोगः,
पश्चाद्धन्त शरीरे रोगः।
यद्यपि लोके मरणं शरणं, 

तदपि न मुञ्चति पापाचरणम् ॥२८॥

Very readily one indulges in carnal pleasures;
later on, alas, come diseases of the body.
Even though in the world the ultimate end is death,
even then man leaves not his sinful behaviour.

अर्थंमनर्थम् भावय नित्यं,
नास्ति ततः सुखलेशः सत्यम्।
पुत्रादपि धनभजाम् भीतिः, 

सर्वत्रैषा विहिता रीतिः ॥२९॥

‘Wealth is calamitous’, thus reflect constantly:
the truth is that there is no happiness at all to be got from it.
To the rich, there is fear even from his own son.
This is the way with wealth everywhere.

प्राणायामं प्रत्याहारं,
नित्यानित्य विवेकविचारम्।
जाप्यसमेत समाधिविधानं, 

कुर्ववधानं महदवधानम् ॥३०॥

The control of all activities,
the sense-withdrawal, the reflection, along with japa
and the practice of reaching the total-inner- silence
– these, perform with care, with great care.

गुरुचरणाम्बुज निर्भर भक्तः, 
संसारादचिराद्भव मुक्तः।
सेन्द्रियमानस नियमादेवं, 
द्रक्ष्यसि निज हृदयस्थं देवम् ॥३१॥

O Devotee of the lotus-feet of the teacher!
May you become liberated soon from the samsara through the discipline of the
sense-organs and the mind. You will come to experience the
Lord that dwells in your own heart.

May 1, 2012

Love: A Deep Insight

Disclaimer: This post does not pertain to any specific kind of love; i.e. the love b/w parents- child/ husband- wife. It is about love in general. Love here is not synonymous to attraction/ infatuation. :)

Why do we start hating people?
Because we loved them, in the first place!
Why do we get angry at people?
Because we love them, in the first place!
Why do we get jealous when we see someone else replacing our place in their life?
Because we love them, in the first place!
Why do we fear losing a person?
Because we love them, in the first place!
Why do we get greedy for a persons' time?
Because we love them, in the first place!

Look around you, there is love everywhere. Love is in abundance. Feel the warmth inside yourself and embrace it. Hate, greed, jealousy and anger are nothing but distorted forms of love. 

Here are some questions on love I can think of! :)
  • What is love? 
  • Why do we love? 
  • How do we start loving? 
  • Can we stop loving a person? 
  • Why do we sometimes hate a person as much as we love them? 
  • Is it necessary for the people we love, to love us back? 
  • If they don't, does our love for them decrease? 
  • What if someone doesn't love you back?
  • What if people don't acknowledge your love?
  • Do you ask people whether they love you or not? 
  • Is it good to ask or not? 
  • Does love have to be expressed every time
  • Love, Expressibility and Masculinity- The Link?
  • Does love die, when a person dies? 

Here are my answers :)

  • Love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion and affection. It is the unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. 
  • We love because love is our very nature. Love cannot be known or understood. It can only be felt. It's a wonderful feeling- It nurtures you and the person you love. [It's like garam garam samosae on a rainy day ;)] Just like our body is made up of carbohydrates and proteins, we are made up of this substance called love. 
  • We can never tell when we start loving a person. It's an inbuilt auto- start thing. It's  something we cannot control and shouldn't even control, because it is best to be in our natural state. 
  • We can never stop loving a person, when something unfortunate happens our love for them distorts depending on the circumstances like- hate/ anger/ jealousy/ greed. 
  • Everyone fears rejection. Fear itself is the absence of love and rejection is a form of fear. It is very evident that because we care, we are concerned and we love them so much, and for whatever reasons, if things don't work out as per our wishes we start hating them because of dissatisfaction and sadness. We deviate from our natural state and no one likes turbulence when one expects a clear sunny day!
  • If we truly love someone our love for them will never decrease! NEVER! :) Though there are chances of it getting distorted to the other forms.
  • If those people don't love you back. It's okay. Life is a roller coaster ride with ups and downs and there is always unpredictability. Give your best and be prepared for the worst. Anyways, you can always be sure of yourself and what you feel and in no way control what/ when/ how others should feel. Come to a truce with it and learn to let go. Accept reality instead of building castles in the air.
  • If people don't acknowledge your love, it is either because of their 'ignorance' or lack of expressibility. Well, such situations are hard to handle. Make sure that in such a situation your love for them does not distort to another form. Forgive and forget, be the bigger person. :)
  • It is not necessary that the people we love have to love us back. What is the essence of the love that is not pure and self- initiated? What is the point in forcing people to love us? If then, that is not the purest form of love.     
  • Don’t ask anyone if they love you – only fools ask this. Even if someone is angry, he is demonstrating love. Emotions like anger, jealousy, and greed are because of love. 
  • We cannot say whether it's good to ask whether they love you or not. Let me put it this way; If someone is sleeping, do you ask the person are you sleeping? If you do, then you have already woken them up!
  • Love if expressed everytime is excellent, but if not it doesn't mean it is absent. Again, expressing love is a capability that everyone is not blessed with. It varies from person to person. Some people are very vocal about it, some are not. Some want to express it, but they can't. Some don't want to because, they feel it's their private thing. Some express it like as if they are living in a fairy-tale. Haha! Well, it's everyones' own thing but one cannot question the intensity or the credibility of love just because of the lack of expression. Presence of an expression is like a confirmation but the absence of expression doesn't imply absence of love. 
  • It might be a common notion that women are more expressive than men. True. But men being expressive about their love/ being emotional doesn't make them any less masculine.  
  • Now, that's a trick question. ;) If the relation of love is from the soul then love exists beyond the boundaries of having a body which is dead or alive; it doesn't really matter. :) :) :)

      "All my life, my heart has yearned for a thing I cannot name."- Andre Breton

      When you dive into the ocean of love; It's just bliss, bliss, bliss...
       May 1st, 2012